6 Great Converts To Islam

1.  Barmakid Family (600s-900s)

The Barmakids were a family of Buddhist administrators from the city of Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan. When the Umayyad Caliphate conquered the area in the the mid-600s, the family converted to Islam. After the Abbasid Revolution in 750, the Barmakids rose to prominence as talented administrators. They carried with them centuries of experience in the Persian Empire of how to manage large government bureaucracies, something the Arab Abbasid caliphs were ignorant of.

As viziers, they exercised great influence on the formation of the empire in the late 8th century. Yahya ibn Khalid al-Barmaki was particularly influential. He was appointed as the tutor and mentor to the young Harun al-Rashid, who would go on to become the caliph during which the Abbasids had their golden age. Under his tutelage, Harun al-Rashid managed to establish peace with the empire’s neighbors, exponential economic growth, the patronage of scholars, and a system of infrastructure that rivaled that of ancient Rome. The Barmakid family as a whole thus had a huge impact on the political shape of the Muslim world that would continue for centuries.

2.  Berke Khan (Unknown-1266)

Some more converts:  Isabelle Eberhardt • Uluç Ali Reis • Claude Alexandre • Parameswara • Marmaduke Pickthall • Jacques-Francois Menou • Rudolf Carl von Slatin • Lord Headley • Malcolm X • Samori Ture • Muhammad Ali • Keith Ellison • Ahmad Rashad • Cat Stevens • Dave Chappelle • Nicolas Anelka • Kareem Abdul Jabbar • Murad Wilfried Hofmann • Jermaine Jackson • Yvonne Ridley

As the grandson of the great Mongol conqueror, Genghis Khan, Berke Khan was an important figure in the Mongol world in the mid-1200s. Like other Mongols, he originally practiced a form of pagan shamanism. As the leader in the Golden Horde – a Mongol army – he was sent to the North Caucasus Mountains and Eastern Europe to subdue the Kipchak Turks. He eventually managed to lead armies all the way into Hungary.

Categories: Islam, Religion, World

4 replies

  1. @ Zia Shah:

    Author’s remark is derogatory and biased; it seems painful for him to accept that Islam was first introduced to America by the Promised Messiah Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (AS) of Qadian.

    Wikipedia quotes:

    In 1887 Webb was introduced to Islam by the works of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement. Webb wrote two letters to Ghulam Ahmad. Webb’s first clear step toward Islam was expressed in these correspondences. These letters were published then in Ghulam Ahmad’s book “Shahne-e-Haqq” page 372 and 439. [1]
    At that time he had yet to meet a Muslim but was put in contact with several Muslims in India by a local Parsi businessman. A newspaper publisher, Budruddin Abdulla Kur of Bombay, published several of Webb’s letters in his paper. A local businessman, Hajee Abdulla Arab, a follower of Ghulam Ahmad, saw these letters and went to Manila to see Webb. In 1888, he formally declared himself to be a Muslim.

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